Sunday, November 22, 2015

UNI Panthers heading to the FCS Football Playoffs as an at-large team

Michael Malloy
UNI makes 18th appearance in the FCS Football Playoffs, coming off a 7-4 season.

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Indianapolis, IN -- The University of Northern Iowa (7-4) has been selected as an at-large team for the 2015 FCS Football playoffs. The Panthers will host a first round game on Saturday, with a game against Eastern Illinois (7-4), out of the Ohio Valley Conference.

The field of 24 teams competing for the 2015 NCAA Division I Football Championship was announced today by the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee. The top eight national seeds will host winners from the first round match-ups.

BRACKET: Interactive | Printable

Jacksonville State University (10-1) tops the bracket as the number one seed after capturing the automatic qualifying berth from the Ohio Valley Conference. The Gamecocks are making their third straight appearance in the championship and sixth overall.

Illinois State University (9-2) is the number two seed after finishing as the co-champion of the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The Redbirds, the runner-up in last year’s national championship game, are making their sixth appearance in the championship.

Four-time defending national champion North Dakota State University (9-2) is the number three seed after capturing the automatic qualifying berth from the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The Bison are making their sixth straight appearance in the championship.

McNeese State University (10-0) is the number four seed after capturing the Southland Conference automatic berth. The two-time national runner-up Cowboys are making their 16th appearance in the championship.

James Madison University (9-2), the 2004 national champion, will be the fifth seed. The Dukes are making their 12th appearance in the championship.

Portland State University (9-2), making its first appearance since 2000, will be the number six seed. The Vikings are only making their second appearance in the championship.

University of Richmond (8-3), the automatic qualifier from the Colonial Athletic Association, will be the seventh seed. The Spiders, who won the 2008 title, will be making their 10th appearance.

The eighth and final seeded team will be Charleston Southern University. The Buccaneers will be making its first appearance after capturing the Big South Conference automatic berth.

The 2015 championship field consists of 10 automatic qualifiers and 14 at-large qualifiers.

UNI is 15-6-1 all-time against the Eastern Illinois Panthers (7-4 this season), a series that dates back to 1975. The last time UNI and the Ohio Valley Conference foe played each other was in 2001 when UNI picked up a 49-43 win on the road in the first round of the playoffs.

UNI has made 18 NCAA FCS playoff appearances, including back-to-back years hosting a first round game, picking up 20 playoff wins in school history. UNI has won at least one playoff game in 13 of its previous 17 playoff appearances, including a playoff win in nine of the last 10 appearances.

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